I will discharge my duties with integrity and will promote understanding and conciliation…
I will act with honesty, courtesy and regard for the welfare of others, and will endeavor to develop the spirit de corps.
These are oaths that ten police recruits will NOT be taking in Philadelphia.
According to CBS Philly’s Greg Argos, ten cadets have resigned from the police academy after being accused of cheating. All ten were involved in receiving answers in advance to an exam on motor vehicle code.
The kicker: the exam was going to be open-book.
Philadelphia Police Captain Sekou Kinebrew confirms, “On June 5, it was discovered that one of the members of that platoon had obtained the answers to the test, which, by the way, would have been an open-book test.”
The ring of cheaters were thwarted by another cadet who reported the situation to the academy.
Once brought to light, all ten cadets tendered their resignations throughout the week. Kinebrew stated that, “Had they not resigned, they would have absolutely been rejected during probation because this violation is not only a violation of our internal cheating policy, it’s a violation of our certifying agency’s cheating policy.’
Argos further reports that the cadets not only lost their ability to complete the academy program in Philadelphia but are now further prohibited from becoming police officers anywhere in Pennsylvania.
The Philadelphia recruits need have only looked to their neighboring state of Ohio to see how a similar situation played out last fall. According to Cleveland.com’s Adam Ferrise, a group of fifteen recruits were released from their positions in the Ohio Peace Officer Training Academy when a plagiarism ring was uncovered. Ferrise reports that notes which are graded on not only content but also formatting and neatness were copied and plagiarized by more than a dozen cadets.
Fifteen of the recruits implicated in the scandal went on to sue the City of Cleveland on the claim that the investigation was still ongoing when the test was administered and they should have been permitted to sit for the OPOTA test, as a conclusion had not yet been reached, according to Ferrise.
Eight months later, Cleveland.com’s Eric Heisig reported that a federal judge has rejected the suit of the Cleveland recruits. U.S. District Judge James Gwin ruled that the cadets were in a probationary period and their claim to entitlement to due process would not stand. The suit also alleged that the recruits were victims of racial discrimination but Gwin found no evidence that they were treated differently as a result of race.
Cleveland Law Director Barbara Langhenry commented on Gwin’s ruling “The City of Cleveland is pleased that the federal court agreed that Plaintiffs’ alleged denial of due process claim was meritless and that the court concluded ‘[t]here are no facts suggesting’ the City discriminated against any of the police cadets based upon their race.”
Ultimately, the academy experiences in both Cleveland and Philadelphia did exactly what it was designed to do- reveal the capacities of the cadets in the program. Kinnebrew reflected “In many ways it had a fitting conclusion because the recruits who displayed the behavior that is inconsistent with our core values will not be police officers but the recruit who did display behavior that is consistent with our core values and reported it will become a police officer.”